Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Amazon Aroma

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14 NAS

I had always noticed that when I hold my Amazons they exuded a very pleasant sweet, musky odor. Later, I learned from other Amazon owners that this is a scent that is released only when they are extremely happy or content. Each Amazon has its own scent, and some produce a floral odor, others a more musky smell. It is literally "the scent of love." Knowing this, made this "fragrant aroma" even more precious to me.

It is fascinating to discover the way in which God uses His creation to illustrate different aspects of His Word. Every time I smell the pleasant fragrance the parrots exude when they come into my presence, I am reminded of the way we exude a pleasant aroma of His presence to those who are around us!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hatch Announcement July 21, 2008

Coco and Charlie are proud to announce the arrival of their newest offspring, hatched on July 21!! The baby is doing great and the parents are thrilled! They had two eggs but only one of them hatched. This is the first time that Coco has set on an egg "to term" that it has not hatched. But she has never shared her living quarters before with a hoard of teenagers! My daughter decided it would be fun to turn our walk out basement into an apartment and she needed a roommate so invited a girl friend to move in with her. There has been a steady stream of company to visit Coco and Charlie ever since, and I was not sure how they would handle the disruption in their nesting routine. But they took it in stride, and seemed to enjoy the company, who were instructed to be very quiet and tiptoe through the room where the birds live! Yeah, right... you know teenagers! I will post a picture when the baby moves from nest box to incubator. So far, I have been reluctant to take the baby because Coco and Charlie are doing such a great job, but I probably will this next week! This picture is of 10 day old baby taken last August. The new baby is just two days older than this now.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Feeding Your Amazon Parrot

I don't consider myself an expert on parrot nutrition. I have belonged to several groups dedicated to parrot nutrition and learned enough to know that no one really agrees about parrot diet! One group recommended a balanced pellet only diet, another ws against feeding pellets. One discouraged me, because while they were very knowledgeable, the feeding regimine they set for their birds was impossible for me to keep. Everything came from the health food store, and the birds ate better than our family! I researched the area that Amazon parrots come from, and it is an area rich in nuts and seeds, an area with a lot of variety of fruits, etc.
I have settled for what I feel is a balanced, healthy diet for my birds based on what commercially prepared foods are available in our area. I feed pellets (Zupreem Avian Maintenance Fruit Blend) for about 1/4 of their diet, a good quality seed mix (Kaytee Fiesta Macaw) that has a lot of nuts, dried fruit & vegetables for 1/4, and the remaining 1/2 consists of fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables and grains. Make sure the seed mix is not too heavy into sunflower seeds. If the mix has peanuts, be sure they are clean, free from mold or spoilage.
Fresh Foods: I give the fresh foods in small amounts throughout the day, and find they eat far more that way than if I give it all to them at once. Cut up the fresh fruit/vegetables into small cubes. If too much is ending up on the cage floor, feed less at a time and more frequently. I like to feed mine fresh foods 3-5 times a day and give them different things each time.
Some of the things that they love to eat are: fresh cut apples (cored), pears, bing cherries, strawberries, plums, apricots, carrots, beets, baked potatoes, squash, yams, broccoli, asparagus, rhubarb, corn, peas (they love fresh green peas in te pod), fresh spinach, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bean sprouts, beans, brown rice, oranges, tangerines, nectarines, grapes, peaches, mangoes, bananas, cantaloupe, papayas, and pineapple. I also give them some dried fruit, but they do not like it as well as fresh They seem to really enjoy their vegetables cooked and served while still warm. They also like cooked pasta, but make sure you are feeding a healthy pasta and not just empty calories.

If I am feeling especially energetic, I will cook some of the 7 or 13 beans and mix with rice. They also like hard boiled egg (chopped). For a very rare treat, I give them a chicken bone, or rib bone with a little of the meat on it. To see how they devour this convinces me that Amazona are at least partially carnivorous! They really like corn on the cob, which I feed to them cooked. I have heard of some who have had problems with the bird eating the cob and experiencing digestive problems. I have never had a problem with that, but it would be food to watch the bird carefully to see how they react. Mine also love to eat the warm handfeeding formula for baby parrots and when I have a new batch of babies, the older siblings and parents eat the extra mixture with great enjoyment.

For a training treat, I buy unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds or chopped nuts in the baking section of the grocery store. Small pieces make great treats.

What not to feed: I avoid giving them "junk food" which they can become addicted to just like people. I don't give them food that is highly processed with a lot of preservatives. Parrots should never be given avacado, chocolate, alcohol or caffeine. Most authorities recommend that you avoid letting them have the seeds from apples, or the pits from peaches, etc. I have to admit that for a special treat I do let them have a little pizza crust or bit of bagel when we have it.

I think the key to a healthy diet for your Amazon is variety, variety, variety. Amazons usually have a great appetite, and when started on fresh food from babies, they enjoy trying new things. The amount they eat and the fat content of their diet needs to be monitored in conjunction with their weight. A bird that is active can handle more to eat than a bird that is more sedate and quiet. My Amazons are very active and I've never had a problem with obesity!

Here is a nice care sheet for Amazon parrots:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Parrots Prayer of Thanks

A Parrot's Thank You
By Jamie Whittaker
A Lot of Little Birdies Told Me:
We Give Thanks for our ancestors that paved the way for us to come and live In the human community
We Give Thanks that we were given the skills needed to adapt to our new world
We Give Thanks that the destruction of our habitat did not mean the total destruction of us
We Give Thanks to all of those humans that have given up their lives, their jobs, their families, their comforts to care for us, live with us, and learn about us.
We Give Thanks to these humans that teach others about us and our ways and that help us to adapt to our new homes
We Give Thanks to the ongoing efforts of those in research that work for little money to solve the mystery of disease & nutrition to help us to be healthy and long lived
We Give Thanks to our human friends who care enough about us to find us new homes when they can no longer care for us
We Give Thanks to those caring humans that open their homes to one more bird so that we can be part of their flock
We Give Thanks for this wonderful new future where we can share our lives with humans and be their companions and their friends
That's what I hear my birdies shout to the world in the morning and evening. That's what I hear in the "Too-Hoos" and clucks and whistles in my bird room and in the aviary. That's what I see in the eyes of the birds that find their way to our aviary, the ones that have been living happy lives and the ones that are looking forward to the opportunity for one. All of our lives are different, we are all a product of our good and bad experiences; so are our birds. They have given up some things to live in captivity, but they have gained much, too. One of the main things that they have gained is a FUTURE.
*Permission to Cross Post*

Beware of Lead Poisoning

Java and Kiwi enjoying their spot in the sunshine!

This link is a video clip giving some valuable information on the danger of lead poisoning to parrots. It is well worth watching so that we can be more alert and aware of the danger.

This information was shared through a new group I have joined called Bird Breeder Hobbyist. Much valuable information is sent out for parrot breeders/owners.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

True Love

Connie sent me this picture of Sunny and her husband, Mike, taken a few days ago. Mike is recovering from eye surgery and Sunny is giving him a little loving sympathy! Be sure to click on the picture so you can see this one close up! The expression of pure love on Sunny's face is just precious! Sunny is the sister of the babies that I have available now. They adopted Sunny from us this past spring.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Cuppycake Song

This picture is of Java... my sweetheart. He loves to be with me wherever I am in the house. He is my commentator and the singer of the bunch! He is working hard to learn "You are my Sunshine." He gets most of it... most of the time now.

I don't know what it is about the "Cuppy Cake song" that the birds like so much, but it is one of their favorites. Sunny especially loved this song, and we used it to help her make the transition to Connie's home. Since she had to be shipped such a long way, we wanted her to feel comfortable and "at home" there immediately. So I played the Cuppycake Song for Sunny over and over in the weeks before she left. When she arrived, Connie played the same song for her and Sunny just loved it! I think it was a great way to ease her transition. I also had Connie record her voice for Sunny before she left here and I played that for her so that when she met Connie, she had the great association of hearing that voice while sitting on my arm! Sunny handled the transition like a trooper and might have without all these steps, but I am sure it helped her to feel more at ease. Whether you have a parrot or not, you will enjoy the Cuppy Cake Song!